The obvious ones are ISO certificates, understood not only in the UK but internationally as well. Membership of relevant professional groups also adds credence, as do affiliations with environmental organisations.
A mailing house should certainly have ISO 9001 and 14001 accreditations because of the nature of their work and because they handle personal data, so registration under the Data Protection Act is essential. Paper, ink and trucking miles impact our environment, so any green schemes the mailing house is involved with are a plus when it comes to choosing which one to work with.
ISOs are management system standards published – but not awarded – by the International Organisation for Standardisation and are marks of quality and good practice. The standards are designed to ensure organisations and companies meet the needs of their customers and any regulatory requirements of the product they offer. The certificates are awarded by independent inspectors who assess individual companies’ standards and continue to audit them over time. ISO 9001 applies to quality management, while ISO 14001 pertains to environmenta l conduct.
Mailing houses that are producing direct mail should be a member of the DMA (Direct Marketing Association), who will ensure the mailing house is meeting all the requirements of current legislation and achieving best practice. This is a recognised credential and, in fact, many tenders require DMA membership.
The Mail Consolidators’ Association issues approval to postal operators in the mailing industry for best practice; members must adhere to a strict code of conduct, which serves to give customers peace of mind.
If your mailing is to be distributed internationally then membership of MDAS Plus, the Mail Distribution Accreditation Scheme, commissioned by the PPA, the Professional Publishers’ Association, is also a good benchmark. The scheme tests and audits the processes of mailing companies who distribute magazines and direct mail.
The PPA itself aims to protect and advise its mailing house members on the legal, regulatory and commercial aspects that affect the business, and presents prestigious industry awards for good practice.
Another credit to look out for is that the mailing house is registered under the Data Protection Act 1998, a requirement for any organisation processing personal information. More than 37,000 organisations are registered with the ICO, the Information Commissioner’s Office, an independent UK authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest and safeguard personal data. The authority is involved in helping to develop policy, regulate, monitor compliance and handle complaints.
As the second largest international postal group in Europe, Asendia sets much store by its warrants and is a mailing house that counts all the above among its credentials, and more:
Direct Marketing Association member
Mail Consolidators’ Association member
MDAS Plus accredited
Data Protection Act-registered
Set up a programme of Service Level Agreements for the customer from day one.
As part of its ISO 14001 accreditation, Asendia uses FSC paper for its printing services and has recently joined an initiative with the Woodland Trust to mitigate the carbon impact of its activities. Asendia’s customers are also being invited to join in, which will contribute to their own environmental sustainability targets and accreditations. Details are available from Asendia on 01234 84 84 15.
In addition, Asendia has shown a consistent commitment to the training and development of its staff by achieving and maintaining prestigious Investors in People status for over 10 years.
So, if you’re looking for a fully accredited mailing house – one offering a range of value added services – call Asendia today on 01234 84 84 15 for a quote on not only your mailing, but also your printing and fulfilment requirements.
For more information, see http://www.asendia.co.uk/en/international-mail/overview/
About the author
Catherine Jackson is an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has been a publishing professional for over 30 years, working in newspapers, magazines, and marketing in the education, retail and travel sectors. She has also worked as a freelance copywriter, editor and proofreader before joining Asendia UK as Content Marketing Executive & Copywriter. Google+